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Action preceded the APC meeting

All the excitement at Monday’s meeting of the Area Planning Commission was off stage and happened before Chairman Ed Herrell rapped the gavel to start.

I’m not writing that because the attorneys had filed more paperwork (they had). Rather, this was strictly off agenda.

Just before the meeting, Area Planning Director Bill MacDaniel walked across the stage at the Robert Wise Center for Performing Arts, looking at his phone. I was sitting in the front row, starting my notes. I saw Bill walking up to the orchestra pit and briefly thought to myself, he must be going to jump down in the pit instead of going around. 

Then he disappeared into the pit, which is a good 3 to 4 feet lower than the stage. Hearing a groan, I got up and saw Bill sprawled on the pit floor. I scurried around to help him. By the time I got there, a few others had gathered. Bill had started moving, looking very dazed. Voices asked Bill if he was OK. Bill, moving his legs and looking at his arms and hands, said he was. Brian Durham told Bill to stay still. Two firefighters who had come to help with crowd control came and helped Bill to his feet. He picked up his phone and walked up to his seat at the APC table, apparently no worse for the spill. 

Thus ended the evening’s excitement. The meeting lasted just a few minutes because a few days earlier attorneys had asked for the evening’s business to be continued while they decide which parts of the piles of paperwork that has been filed in this case can be considered. The Board of Zoning Appeals had even less excitement because they, like the APC, had nothing to do but continue their meeting until October.

After the meeting, the guys taping the meeting for Channel 3 said they’d caught Bill’s accident but planned to cut it from the tape. I’m just glad Bill is OK.

Speaking of APC

The Area Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals are caught in a chess game. Neighbors opposed to having a concentrated animal feeding operation nearby in northwestern Fayette County are trying to use the county’s zoning law regulating CAFOs to keep it from happening. It prohibits a CAFO within a mile of a public recreation facility ... without defining public recreation facility.

So the neighbors have put down gravel and fenced an area where they erected a metal-roofed shelter, put a picnic table under it, and opened it to the public May to October. They want the APC and BZA to rule that it is a public recreation facility. MacDaniel has issued a staff opinion urging the APC and BZA not to do that.

So the attorneys are using all the possible manuevers to delay a decision. That’s their job, to look out for their clients’ best interest.

It leaves the APC and BZA hanging, though. Meetings have been scheduled in July, August and September that were tabled or continued to the next month because of the manuevering.

APC Chairman Herrell said when he first started seeing the latest round of manuevers, he felt a bit of heartburn. But he’s OK with it now, realizing that his job is to help the APC come up with the best possible decision based on law.

In other words, in this chess game, the APC is the chess board, and Herrell plans to keep the playing field level. As it should be.

Overheard comments

While ordering chicken at a local carryout one day last week, I heard two of the young ladies on the other side of the counter talking about their social media accounts.

One said her husband has 350 friends on Facebook. Her problem with it, she said, was that about 300 of them are other girls.

Bob Hansen is editor of the Connersville News-Examiner: bhansen@newsexaminer.com or 765-825-0588 ext. 235.